Russia’s war hawks have spent the better part of the past year pretending they’re not losing in Ukraine – they’re just being held back. But now, they claim, the gloves are about to come off.
It is no longer enough to bomb women and children while they sleep. It’s time “to tear down [Ukrainian President Volodymyr] Zelensky’s plane” and “to launch missiles at [his] residence in Kyiv,” two Kremlin allies said on Wednesday.
A chorus of pro-Kremlin voices is calling for ‘ruthless’ revenge after Moscow accused Ukraine of attempting to assassinate President Vladimir Putin in the Kremlin overnight. Rather than questioning the official version of events – like how the hell TWO Ukrainian drones could outmaneuver all of Russia’s air defenses to strike at the heart of the capital – Russian officials and propagandists wasted no time skimming at the mouth as they demanded that the “real war” begin now.
“But it’s still not a red line, is it?” No reason to call war a war? To start directing it. Not a reason to shoot down Zelensky’s plane accurately (it was just flying off somewhere). No, of course, this is still not enough, ”propagandist Anton Krasovsky bitterly wrote on Telegram.
Pro-Kremlin war correspondent Alexander Kotz said that at this stage it would not even be enough to launch missiles at Ukraine’s “decision-making centers” in Kyiv. According to him, Russia must now personally “eliminate” the “decision makers”.
The deputy head of Russia’s increasingly unbalanced Security Council, Dmitry Medvedev, called on the military to “physically eliminate ‘Zelensky’ and his clique”.
“After today’s terrorist attack, there are no more options,” he wrote on Telegram.
“And we’re going to take this?” Why isn’t the center of kyiv now being methodically turned into ruins? complained the neo-Nazi paramilitary unit Rusich.
Lawmakers have been only slightly more restrained in their calls for hell on Ukraine.
“This is a real casus belli – a reason for war,” Sergei Mironov wrote. “We have something to clear their bunkers with,” he said, calling for the “liquidation” of the Ukrainian government.
Vyacheslav Volodin, chairman of the State Duma, said lawmakers would now “demand the use of weapons capable of stopping and destroying the terrorist regime in Kyiv”.
Pro-war Russian bloggers began circulating a meme saying, “If you don’t bomb [Ukrainian government headquarters at] Bankova, Bankova will bomb you.
Suddenly, military bloggers who have built their careers telling Kremlin audiences that Ukraine’s military is weak and incompetent have raised alarm that the Russian leader himself is now under threat. The turnaround comes not only after the alleged drone attack on the Kremlin, but also after the president’s team allegedly ordered his media spokespersons to exaggerate the threat posed by Ukraine in order to make any defeat in war less humiliating.
Ukraine – which saw more than a dozen civilians killed in a Russian strike on Kherson on Wednesday, even as Russians grew hysterical about drones striking the Kremlin – has denied any involvement in the alleged attack and suggested it may well be part of the last “escalation” of the war before a planned Ukrainian counteroffensive.
“We are not attacking Putin or Moscow. We are fighting on our own territory, defending our villages and towns,” Zelensky said in televised comments from Germany, adding that Ukraine does not even have enough weapons to carry out attacks inside. Russia.
A Russian expert quoted by the FinancialTimes said the drones may have come from just outside Moscow and the low amount used in the “attack” suggested it was more likely carried out by a partisan movement.
Nonetheless, many saw the drone attack as the start of a new phase in the war. Mykhailo Podolyak, a Ukrainian presidential adviser, said in a statement on Twitter that it was clear the incident was meant to serve as a pretext for Russia to hit Ukraine harder and finally appease the pro-war “patriots” who encourage more devastation and death. .
“Russia is obviously preparing a large-scale terrorist act.”
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